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In Memoriam: Administrative assistant Sonia Bordes remembered

Senior Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013

Updated: Friday, December 6, 2013 15:12

Sonia Bordes

SONIA BORDES: April 7, 1951 — Nov. 1, 2013

Sonia Bordes, administrative assistant for the history department, always dedicated herself to making those around her feel welcome and comfortable, said her former colleagues.

Bordes served as the administrative assistant for Loyola’s history department since fall 2010, David Moore, chairman of the history department, said.

This past summer, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and took a leave of absence. She died in November from complications with the disease, Moore said.

In the wake of her death, many people in the Loyola community shared their thoughts and memories about Bordes.

Moore said that Bordes’s passing was rough on the history department, and that she will be missed.

“We all hoped, prayed, expected that she would return. We are crushed by her passing. She was a wonderful, lovely person and a superlative administrative assistant,” Moore said via email.

Ashley Howard, assistant professor of history, said that Bordes helped her during both her job interview and her first year at Loyola. Howard said that in a moment of upheaval after finishing grad school, Bordes was a calming presence.

“She was wonderful, even before I moved down here, in helping me figure out how to order books, you know, to teach, how many office hours I should have, where I should be looking to move, all these types of things. She really acclimated me not only to Loyola but also to New Orleans,” Howard said.

Patricia Boyett, visiting assistant professor of history, said Bordes always extended herself to help others.

Boyett said that at one of the first events she attended on campus, Bordes made sure to sit next to her and introduce her to people.

Mark Fernandez, history professor, said that Bordes could talk with him as a friend rather than a co-worker. While his first impression of her was of a consummate professional, Fernandez soon got in touch with Sonia the person.

“As I got to know her, I came to love her wry sense of humor. As I really got to know her I admired the compassion she demonstrated toward our students, student workers and faculty,” Fernandez said via email.

While Bordes exhibited a staunch dedication to improving lives on Loyola’s campus, her work here was not her only pursuit. Bordes volunteered at Children’s Hospital Miracle League, the Mahalia Jackson Theater and St. Benilde Cleaning Committee, Adoration Chapel and Bereavement Group.

Behrooz Moazami, associate professor of history, described Bordes as an “efficient colleague that you could count on.” Her wise and loving words of guidance were even more important, though, Moazami said.

“I was seeking her help and advice, not only about departmental matters but my personal problems as well,” Moazami said via email. “Sonia always had excellent advice. She is gone, but memory of her will always be with us. Good humans live forever.”

Karl Gommel can be contacted at 

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